By Taylor Giuffre-Catalano
On December 20, Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Dianne Kelly, and School Committee Member, Susan Gravellese, were excited to announce that Revere Public Schools had received over $130,000 in grant money to fund new academic programs and initiatives.
The first grant, from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is called the “Mass Grad Promising Practices Grant,” and was awarded “in the amount of $115,000,” explained Gravellese. She continued to note that $70,000 of the grant money would be awarded to Revere High School, and the latter $45,000 would be awarded to CityLab STEAM Innovation School. This hefty sum is dedicated to “providing dropout prevention,” as well as “re-engagement activities,” explained Gravellese. The grant helps “to ensure more students graduate from high school prepared for the challenges of post-secondary education and careers.”
Dr. Kelly described the collaboration of Chris Bowen, Principal of Revere High School, and Dr. Stacey Mulligan, Principal of CityLab, who had to “submit this grant jointly.” At Revere High School, Dr. Kelly explained, the “focus” of the grant money would be “dropout prevention for 150 of our EL [English Language Learning] students who are particularly struggling.” She continued by explaining that the funds would help “hire somebody who’s going to coordinate an EL Dropout Prevention Program,” and also “stipend teachers to act as coaches for these individual students.” These “coaches,” Dr. Kelly described, would maintain “constant contact” with families to provide extra support. The third piece, Dr. Kelly explained, was that funds would be appropriated to “academic interventions,” such as “tutoring and credit recovery,” for the “English Language Learners who are struggling to stay current in their academic progress.”
At CityLab, Dr. Kelly continued, funds would be appropriated “primarily to provide professional development for teachers on project-based instruction.” Additionally, she added, that some of the funds will go towards “the Design Studios that the students have been engaging in,” across Boston and other areas in the Revere Community.
The second grant, explained Gravellese, was “awarded again” from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The grant, an “FY23 Teacher Diversification Pilot Program Grant,” was awarded in the amount of $15,846, and dedicated towards “expand[ing] access to great educational opportunities in the Commonwealth,” noted Gravellese.
Dr. Kelly explained that this grant has been overseen by Dr. Lourenço Garcia for the “last couple of years,” and that the funds were to be appropriated to enriching “Revere High School students who have identified themselves as wanting to be teachers in the future.” The hope of Dr. Kelly, Dr. Garcia, and the Revere School Committee is that, by assisting these students now, the students will “come back and teach our students” when they “ultimately… get licensed.” This initiative supports students involved in the Future Teachers’ Club, and the future teachers’ program led by Dr. Garcia, with the hopes of retaining more former Revere students in the future teaching staff.
One of the “pieces,” Dr. Kelly explained, is a “program out of Lynn Public Schools, in partnership with Salem State… and Americorps.” This program allows “future teacher students” to be “engaged through Lynn Public Schools [and Americorps],” and have “an internship… where they teach in public schools,” noted Dr. Kelly.
“The vision is that this [money] will be used to help our Revere High School Students engage in this program… which is a paid internship… but would actually do this internship in our elementary schools,” Dr. Kelly commented. She added, “That way, we can help our students get some money in their pocket, and also help with elementary classrooms, and help generate that pipeline of teachers that come from their Revere roots.” Dr. Kelly also noted, “We have a number of Revere graduates who work for us, but we certainly want to increase that number.”
After a motion to accept the grants arose, both grants were accepted by the Revere School Committee.